Vodafone rejects Sky merger criticism

Vodafone has responded to submissions to the Commerce Commission opposing the proposed merger with Sky TV. Photo / AP
Vodafone has responded to submissions to the Commerce Commission opposing the proposed merger with Sky TV. Photo / AP

Vodafone has responded to submissions to the Commerce Commission opposing its planned merger with Sky Network Television.

Vodafone said organisations that have opposed the merger had "wholly unrealistic" ideas about the harm it would cause for consumers.

Spark formally opposed the proposed merger, which would see Britain's Vodafone with 51 per cent of the shares of the combined Sky TV and Vodafone New Zealand business.

Spark submitted to the Commerce Commission that if the merger was blocked, market conditions would force Sky to make all sports content available online and on-demand.

Customers would be better served if the merger was blocked, Spark submitted.

In Vodafone's response, published on the Commerce Commission's website on Wednesday, the company said Spark and other companies that made submissions opposing the merger didn't provide evidence to support their "wholly unrealistic" ideas about anticompetitive bundling.

When the merger was announced in June, Spark had initially said Vodafone and Sky had worked closely together for some time and the proposed merger wouldn't pose a greater challenger to Spark.

The Commerce Commission is scheduled to make a decision on the proposal in November.

- NZ Herald

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